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Transcript of Thesis Statements
What Is a Thesis Statement?
What NOT to do in a Thesis Statement?
Which of these is the most correct? Why?
How do you tie the rest of your paper into your thesis statement?
Your topic sentences and your concluding statement should directly relate back to your thesis.
It is one sentence in the introductory paragraph of your paper that tells your reader the main idea of your paper.
It contains a topic, and a claim about the topic. It can also contain the evidence that you will use to support the claim.
State a Fact
, Clarence is bullied.
Better: In Up Molasses Mountain, friendship helps Clarence overcome the loneliness and self-doubt that was caused by bullying.
Use First-Person Language
Such as: "I believe," or "in my opinion."
Your statement is more credible if you leave yourself out of it.
Use Unclear Language
Such As: "It seems like...," "it's likely that...," or "it is possible that..."
Your thesis should not show any doubt. Even if you are personally uncertain, do not say it in your essay.
Attempt Two Topics at Once
For Example: In Up Molasses Mountain, Clarence has to overcome bullying from his peers and gain acceptance by his father.
Instead, pick a topic and develop it fully. Even if the two topics seem related, the lack of definite focus will detract from your argument.
Topic sentences are like mini-thesis statements at the start of each paragraph.
Each topic sentence is a separate piece of evidence that you use to support your thesis statement.
Your conclusion paragraph should both refer to your thesis statement and leave your audience with a new concept to think about.
If your thesis is: In Up Molasses Mountain, true friendship is necessary to overcome bullying.
Your conclusion could be: Only when you see someone else as your equal, true friendship can be achieved.
If your thesis is: In
Up Molasses Mountain
, true friendship is necessary to overcome bullying.
Your topic sentences could be:
1) When Clarence is bullied by his peers, Elizabeth intervenes because she pities him.
2) Clarence comforts himself by caring for the monkey while Elizabeth is distracted by her desire for popularity.
3) When Elizabeth is grieving Johnny, she goes to Clarence for friendship and acceptance.
People should be able to decide what kind of lifestyle they want to have, even if it is unhealthy.
Advertising is an effective medium for selling many things, and I believe it can sell good health too.
Recycling is one of the most important jobs a person can do to protect our environment.
The recycling of one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
Oak Hill High School's teachers produce outstanding academic results, and its coaches make it athletically competitive.
Oak Hill High School is an excellent school.
The goal of this lesson is to teach students how to write effective thesis statements and to show how thesis statements are used to shape topic sentences and concluding paragraphs.